POL8519 - The Rise and Decline of Great Powers


Examination arrangement

Examination arrangement: Assignment
Grade: Passed / Not Passed

Evaluation Weighting Duration Grade deviation Examination aids
Assignment 100/100

Course content

The course provides an introduction to the world of great powers. It discusses how great powers have replaced each other as the leading international actors of the time, and what it is that has led to the rise of some and the fall of others. It puts the focus on processes that have been instrumental with respect to political and economic development, and discusses how these processes contribute to shaping the relationship between the great powers. The course also discusses how the number and behavior of the great powers define the nature of the international system.

Learning outcome

Knowledge - the student shall:

  • Have knowledge about the factors that affect the competition and distribution of international capabilities and resources
  • be in the forefront of knowledge regarding the history, system of government and foreign politics of selected great powers
  • Have knowledge about theories of economic growth, power and prestige and long-term change in the international system

Skills - the student shall:

  • demonstrate the ability to treat one of the themes which was discussed during instruction in an independent empirical analytical manner at an internationally high level.

Learning methods and activities

Lectures/group discussions equivalent to 4 hours pr. week. Supervision of term paper. The essay is to be an independent discussion of a topic taught in lectures, and is to consist of 20 pages. If 6 or fewer students sign up for a planned course during the first 2 teaching weeks, the course will be offered as an instructed reading course.

Required previous knowledge

Master's degree in Political Science or equivalent

Course materials

To be decided at the start of the course.

Credit reductions

Course code Reduction From To
POL3521 10.0 AUTUMN 2014
More on the course



Version: 1
Credits:  10.0 SP
Study level: Doctoral degree level


Term no.: 1
Teaching semester:  AUTUMN 2023

Language of instruction: Norwegian

Location: Trondheim

Subject area(s)
  • Social Sciences
  • Political Science
Contact information
Course coordinator:

Department with academic responsibility
Department of Sociology and Political Science


Examination arrangement: Assignment

Term Status code Evaluation Weighting Examination aids Date Time Examination system Room *
Autumn ORD Assignment 100/100
Room Building Number of candidates
Spring ORD Assignment 100/100
Room Building Number of candidates
  • * The location (room) for a written examination is published 3 days before examination date. If more than one room is listed, you will find your room at Studentweb.

For more information regarding registration for examination and examination procedures, see "Innsida - Exams"

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